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CenturyLink wanted to optimize its daily backup of 1.5 petabytes in 52 data centers worldwide. It had been using Veritas NetBackup software with NetApp FAS3250 storage systems as targets.


The Customer's Challenge

The new integrated backup solution would have to be installed globally in 52 data centers. CenturyLink had engineers in each data center who would have to learn how to manage, troubleshoot, and tune a new solution. A smooth and consistent deployment would ensure that the solution was optimized from the start as well. Finally, CenturyLink wanted to shorten time to market and expand backup capacity fast, upon customer request.

How DataEndure helped

DataEndure proposed using Veritas NetBackup 5230 appliances and was competing with proposals from other deduplication storage vendors. NetBackup appliances combine integrated software, media servers, deduplication, storage, and networking into a single unit. This offers a major cost advantage over deduplication storage systems from vendors like Data Domain or Quantum.

These systems, like the one CenturyLink was using originally, require a separate media server with its own hardware for every 64 terabytes of deduplication pool that a customer needs. As a result, a 750-terabyte system would need 11 media servers. CenturyLink saw the significant hardware costs that could be avoided with DataEndure’s proposal. DataEndure also proposed and launched three initiatives to ensure a successful rollout across the globe.

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lower hardware costs.


saved in 2014 with tens of millions projected in savings for the full rollout.

Fully trained workforce and standardized deployment process
Reduced response time from three weeks to five days

The Benefit

With each NetBackup appliance deployed, CenturyLink paid 53% less in media server and switch costs than it would by deploying a storage array. By the end of 2014, CenturyLink had deployed 50 appliances in 10 data centers, saving $5M total. The rollout is continuing to all 52 of CenturyLink’s data centers with projected savings in the tens of millions of dollars upon completion.

DataEndure also proposed and launched three initiatives to help make the global rollout of NetBackup appliances successful. DataEndure helped train the engineers in 52 data centers so they are able to manage the new solution. To standardize the process across all data centers, DataEndure developed a run book that turns configuration into a simple eight-step process and ensures a smooth deployment. Finally, DataEndure arranged for a just-intime inventory of NetBackup appliances, preconfigured for CenturyLink’s standards. This inventory is on the ground in key regions to reduce response time from three weeks to 3-5 days.

CAPEX comparison between storage arrays and NetBackup appliances

This figure shows the breakdown of the $100,000 CAPEX cost avoidance per appliance. DataEndure projects an additional 4% to 6% OPEX reduction as the NetBackup appliance saves hardware management staff time as well.